How to Send a Message in Plain Text from Gmail

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In Gmail, you can easily send messages either using rich HTML formatting or just plain text.

If you know a recipient prefers plain text emails, it's best to avoid formatting.

Send a Message in Plain Text from Gmail

To compose and send an email in plain text in Gmail:

  1. Click COMPOSE in your Gmail's left navigation bar.

    You can also press c (if keyboard shortcuts are enabled).

  2. Click the More options downward pointing triangle (▾) in the email composition pop-up.

  3. Make sure Plain text mode is checked.

  4. If Plain text mode does not have a checkmark before it in the menu, click it. (Otherwise, click anywhere in the email's body text to close the More options menu.)

Send a Message with Rich HTML Formatting from Gmail

  1. Select COMPOSE in Gmail.

  2. Click the More options downward pointing triangle (▾) in the email's toolbar (at its bottom).

  3. Make sure Plain text mode is not checked.

  4. ​You can also apply formatting to text; Gmail will change the message's mode to rich HTML formatting automatically.​